What is BDSM?

Topic Progress:

Karin and Hans answer the question: What is BDSM. The walk you through the definition of BDSM and their personal take on it.

But in most cases, BDSM stands for Bondage & Discipline, Dominance & Submission and Sadism and Masochism. As Karin explains, in the ‘olden days’, folks just used to call it SM or Sadomasochism.

Bondage

Bondage can actually mean two things. The act of securing someone and as the submissive feeling secured on the one hand. And on the other hand, receiving pleasure from watching someone in bondage – which is more the fetish aspect of bondage. Bondage involves shackles, rope, chains or silk scarves – also tight clothing or wrapping in foil is part of bondage. Basically anything that restrains and limits movement.

Discipline

Discipline is about one telling the other what to do, and that person doing it. Mostly, for the submissive, it’s really important to do the task well and ‘do a good job’. Some bratty types might rather do a sloppy job and try to get punished for it 😉 Discipline is about tasks and chores and list and all those things.

Dominance & submission

Dominance and submission is about on person being ‘above’ the other. The dominant is in charge of the submissive and the situation, knows what’s going to happen and ensures the sub follows suit. This power exchange can happen in the role of a Master and slave, or an Owner and a pet and often has role play elements to it. People who like to be both in the dominant and submissive role are switches.

Sadism & Masochism

Sadism and masochism is all about pain. Sadists like to give pain and masochists like to experience pain. Still, not every sadists likes to inflict pain with any sort of toy. And not every masochist likes the same type of pain. Pain can be physical or emotional and is typically enjoyed because of the endorphin rush and other hormones following a play session.

All of these aspects of BDSM can come together – or not. You can practice bondage just because you think it’s pretty, without any pain or power exchange involved. You could be a Dom and sub that are not at all into pain. Or you might just like the pain part and not go for any ‘Sir and Madam’ stuff. You could even be a masochistic dominant or a switch who likes to be a sadist with some partners and not like to receive pain yourself at all.

Sex

Sex for some people is also part of BDSM. And for other’s absolutely not. Hence, it’s good to have that conversation early on to avoid both surprises and disappointment.

So, there are MANY ways to find out what BDSM is for you. Whatever you do, make sure you practice BDSM consensually. And check our our videos on health and safety to find out if SSC (safe, sane, consensual) or rack (risk aware consensual kink) is more your style.


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